Opportunities

NEW! Vacancies!

The palaeontology community at UCC is expanding!

Applications are invited for several new positions in the McNamara research group.

We are currently advertising for a 1-year postdoc (with potential 2-year extension), 4-year PhD and 2-year outreach officer! Details below.


Postdoctoral researcher (1 year, with potential 2-year extension): Taphonomy of melanin

Funded by the European Research Council under the ERC Consolidator Grant “Palaeochem: Biomolecular innovation and the evolution of animals: insights from taphonomy and the fossil record”.

Post Duration: 1 year, with potential 2-year extension

Contract Type: Fixed Term, Whole-Time

Salary: €38,630 – €45,942 p.a. (IUA Salary Scale)

Position start date: between 1/9/2021 and 1/1/2022 (negotiable)

Position summary

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research position investigating the taphonomy of melanin. The position is funded by the European Research Council and forms part of a series of new hires in palaeontology at UCC.

The project

The successful candidate will undertake analysis of extant and fossil amphibians, mammals, birds and reptiles plus taphonomic experiments using in-house facilities for laboratory decay and high pressure-high temperature maturation. Key analytical techniques include synchrotron-XRF, FTIR, Raman spectroscopy, AHPO-LCMS, NMR, S-XANES. In addition to research, the successful candidate will have opportunities to undertake postdoctoral training in transferable skills and to participate in fieldwork. There may be opportunities to gain Mentorship or Teaching/Supervision experience under the supervision of the PI.

The successful candidate will work closely with the PI and other members of the team, especially a PhD student also working on the taphonomy of melanin.

The School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES)

The School of BEES at University College Cork (UCC) is one of the most successful Schools in UCC in terms of grant capture and PhD completion, and has the distinction of having four ERC-funded projects in the last five years. It is located in three interconnected buildings on extensive grounds and comprises 30 academic staff, 20 postdoctoral researchers and >100 postgraduate students supported by 14 administrative and technical staff. The successful candidate will benefit from excellent laboratory facilities, including a dedicated palaeontology laboratory with high-spec facilities for experimental decay and maturation, melanin extraction, and tissue preparation for electron microscopy. The School’s new Mary Ward microbeam laboratory houses a new JEOL IT-100 VP SEM with sputter coater, a Perkin-Elmer Frontier uATR coupled to a Spotlight micro-FTIR, a Renishaw Raman microscope, extensive light microscopy facilities, and an ultramicrotome. Planned analytical facilities include a major new investment in a hyphenated TGA-FTIR-GC-MS facility for chemical analyses of maturation experiments in real time. Additional laboratory facilities include a furnace, dedicated histology lab, and photography facilities. Researchers in the palaeobiology group have access to additional analytical facilities elsewhere in the university, including cryotomy and immunofluorescence imaging.

The successful candidate will join us at a very exciting time, as part of a major expansion of the palaeontology group at UCC. This includes new PhD and post-doctoral researchers, research support officer, outreach officer, and a new lecturer in palaeontology. The successful candidate will benefit from the PI’s commitment in his/her career development and her extensive global network of collaborators.

Selection Criteria

The successful candidate will provide a cover letter with evidence for how they meet the following essential criteria:

• A PhD qualification in palaeobiology, preferably with comprehensive expertise in taphonomy

• Excellent laboratory skills, especially experience in laboratory experiments

• Comprehensive experience in at least one of the following techniques: synchrotronXRF, AHPO-LCMS, Raman, SEM, melanin extraction

• Excellent teamwork skills.

• Excellent problem solving skills

• Excellent management skills

• Excellent communication skills as evidenced by a track record of high quality

publications and conference presentations

• Proven ability to design, manage and conduct independent research to a high level

• A capability of working within a project team to achieve results

• Good organisation and interpersonal skills

• A commitment to gaining practical experience working on a research project

For an information package including further details of the post see https://ore.ucc.ie/.

Informal enquiries can be made in confidence to Professor Maria McNamara, Professor of Palaeontology, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Email: maria.mcnamara@ucc.ie.

Applications must be submitted online via the University College Cork vacancy portal (https://ore.ucc.ie/) and should include a CV (including contact details of two referees) and cover letter. Queries relating to the online application process should be referred to recruitment@ucc.ie, quoting the job-title and project name.

Candidates should apply, in confidence, before 12 noon (Irish Local Time) on Friday, 23 April 2021. No late applications will be accepted.

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CORK IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES EMPLOYER


PhD student (4 years fully-funded): Taphonomy of melanin

Funded by the European Research Council under the ERC Consolidator Grant “Palaeochem: Biomolecular innovation and the evolution of animals: insights from taphonomy and the fossil record”.

Contract Type: Fixed Term, Whole-Time

Position start date: between 1/9/2021 and 1/1/2022 (flexible)

Duration: 4 years

Stipend: €18,500 per annum plus EU fees. Non-EU candidates are welcome to apply but they will have to cover extra fees themselves.

Position Summary
Applications are invited for a four-year PhD researcher position investigating the taphonomy of vertebrate melanin. The position is funded by the European Research Council and forms part of a series of new hires in palaeontology at UCC.

The project
The successful candidate will undertake analysis of extant and fossil melanin and melanosomes, plus taphonomic experiments using in-house facilities for laboratory decay and high pressure-high temperature maturation. Key analytical techniques include SEM, AHPO-LCMS, Synchrotron-XRF, STEM, STXM. In addition to research, the successful candidate will have opportunities to undertake training in transferable skills, to gain experience in mentorship, and to participate in fieldwork. The successful candidate will work closely with the PI and other members of the team, especially a post-doctoral researcher also working on the taphonomy of melanin.

The School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences
The School of BEES at University College Cork (UCC) is one of the most successful Schools in UCC in terms of grant capture and PhD completion, and has the distinction of having four ERC-funded projects in the last five years. It is located in three interconnected buildings on extensive grounds and comprises 30 academic staff, 20 postdoctoral researchers and >100 postgraduate students supported by 14 administrative and technical staff. The successful candidate will benefit from excellent laboratory facilities, including a dedicated palaeontology laboratory with high-spec facilities for experimental decay and maturation, melanin extraction, and tissue preparation for electron microscopy. The School’s new Mary Ward microbeam laboratory houses a new JEOL IT-100 VP SEM with sputter coater, a Perkin-Elmer Frontier uATR coupled to a Spotlight micro-FTIR, a Renishaw Raman microscope, extensive light microscopy facilities, and an ultramicrotome. Planned analytical facilities include a major new investment in a hyphenated headspace analyser-GC-MS facility for chemical analyses of maturation experiments in real time. Additional laboratory facilities include a furnace, dedicated histology lab, and photography facilities. Researchers in the palaeobiology group have access to additional analytical facilities elsewhere in the university, including cryotomy and immunofluorescences imaging.

The successful candidate will join us at a very exciting time, as part of a major expansion of the palaeontology group at UCC. This includes new PhD and postdoctoral researchers, research support officer, outreach officer, and a new lecturer in palaeontology. The successful candidate will benefit from the PI’s commitment to his/her career development and the PI’s extensive global network of collaborators.

Key Duties and Resposibilities
This title will apply to PhD researchers and will be considered as a period of training as the researcher will have dual goals in terms of the research project and their own career development. The researcher will be mentored by a Principal Investigator (PI). It is expected that a researcher would spend not more than 4 years at the PhD level.

The primary focus of the PhD Researcher will be research however a particular emphasis during this stage should include;
• To conduct a specified programme of research under the supervision and direction of a Principal Investigator/Project Leader
• To engage in appropriate training and professional development opportunities as required by the Principal Investigator, School or College in order to develop research skills and competencies
• To engage in the dissemination of the results of the research in which they are engaged, as directed by, with the support of and under the supervision of a Principal Investigator
• To become familiar with the publication process
• To acquire generic and transferable skills (including project management, business skills and postgraduate mentoring/supervision)
• To engage in the wider research and scholarly activities of the research group, School or College

Essential Criteria
The successful candidate will provide a cover letter demonstrating evidence that they meet the following essential criteria:
• A 2:1 or 1:1 BSc or MSc in Geology, Zoology or Palaeontology
• Good laboratory skills
• Ability to work as part of a team
• Excellent problem solving skills
• Excellent communication skills

Informal enquiries can be made in confidence to Prof. Maria McNamara, Professor of Palaeontology, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences. Email: maria.mcnamara@ucc.ie.

Candidates should apply, in confidence, by submitting a CV (including contact details of two referees) and cover letter to maria.mcnamara@ucc.ie before 5 pm (Irish Local Time) on Friday, 23rd April 2021.

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CORK IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES EMPLOYER


Research Support Officer (2 years): Outreach Officer

Funded by Science Foundation Ireland under the Discover programme grant “Ireland’s Secret Past – Unlocking our fossil heritage”.

Post Duration: 2 years

Contract Type: Fixed Term, Whole-Time

Salary: €37,000 p.a.

Position Summary

Applications are invited for a full-time Research Support Officer (Outreach Officer) position funded by Science Foundation Ireland. The position will provide essential administrative and technical support to a new public engagement project and forms part of a series of new hires in palaeontology at UCC.

The successful candidate will assist with all aspects of project rollout and logistics, including design and manufacture of hands-on and digital activities, design and roll-out of lesson plans and exhibits, resourcing and managing volunteers, scheduling school visits nationally, organizing competitions, liaising with the public and project collaborators, 3D printing educational materials, managing lab supplies, ensuring compliance with child protection legislation, assisting with procurement, travel and financial management, design and update of project website.

Selection Criteria

The successful candidate will provide a cover letter that demonstrates how he/she meets all of

the following criteria:

• A first class or upper second class BSc or MSc, or PhD, qualification in natural sciences (geoscience preferred but candidates with a qualification in zoology are welcome to apply)

• Excellent knowledge of fossils and familiarity with the Irish fossil record

• Excellent public speaking skills

• Ability to interact with stakeholders from a range of settings and backgrounds

• Experience of working with schoolchildren and the general public

• Experience in design and/or application of hands-on activities for use by the public

• Creative

• Excellent at solving problems

• Excellent team member skills

• Excellent organisational and communication skills

• Full driving license

• Demonstrable achievements in delivering results

• Ability to interact with stakeholders from a range of disciplines

• Excellent attention to detail

• Excellent report writing and presentation skills

• Capability of working effectively within a team to achieve results

For an information package including further details of the post see https://ore.ucc.ie/.

Informal enquiries can be made in confidence to Professor Maria McNamara, Professor of Palaeontology, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences. Email: maria.mcnamara@ucc.ie.

Applications should consist of a CV (including contact details of two referees) and cover letter and must be submitted online via the University College Cork vacancy portal (https://ore.ucc.ie/). Queries relating to the online application process should be referred to recruitment@ucc.ie, quoting the job-title and project name.

Candidates should apply, in confidence, before 12 noon (Irish Local Time) on Friday, 23 April 2021. No late applications will be accepted.

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CORK IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES EMPLOYER


More opportunities coming soon – including a full-time 5-year fixed-term Lecturer in Palaeontology. Watch this space!


Interested in joining the team in Cork and doing research on soft tissue taphonomy of fossils, taphonomic experiments, or fossil colour?

You can apply for funding via several sources:

Postdoctoral funding

Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship

Royal Society Fellowships

Maria-Sklowdowska Curie Individual Postdoctoral Fellowships

PhD funding

Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Fellowship

MRes opportunities

The MRes in Geological Sciences is a full-time programme running over 12 months from the date of first registration for the programme. Applications will be accepted for a start date in October or January. The programme consists of (a) a major research thesis and (b) taught modules on generic and transferable skills, with an emphasis on scientific writing, oral presentations, and general research skills.

Prospective students interested in carrying out a palaeontology-based MRes are advised to contact Prof. Maria McNamara and the Programme Coordinator (Prof. Andy Wheeler: a.wheeler@ucc.ie). For further information see https://www.ucc.ie/en/bees/courses/postgrad/.